Chapter 1 Part 1
The moment the sword was about to stab into Kwanach’s back, Kwanach barely ducked out of the way. Even when all his nerves were on me, he felt it and his body moved instinctively.
However, his avoidance wasn’t perfect. The timing was late and the sharp edge of the blade whisked past Kwanach’s arm. His skin tore and he bled.
Drop, drop, the blood that flowed out of Kwanach’s arm wet the ground.
Kwanach managed to lift his sword to block Jaxor’s second attack.
Kwanach glanced back at him with a shout.
“Sorry, friend.” (Jaxor)
Jaxor was about to push Kwanach with all his might. If Kwanach continued to care about me, he might get hurt even more.
I looked back and forth and shouted out to Kwanach.
“Don’t come here and focus on Jaxor!”
I looked forward again with a firm mind. Just in time, Roman’s magic was ready, and the waves of fire began to rush in with the spirit of swallowing us.
I staggered for a moment and Marianne helped me up. I tried to forget everything for a moment and concentrate on my mind. It had to be done. I had to, if I was going to protect Kwanach.
At the most urgent moment, seconds before the flames engulfed everything, a word suddenly leapt into my head.
The rapidly spreading flames hovered in the air.
‘Fire can be covered with soil.’
Because underneath, in the soil, there were tiny seeds that were pushed up by the wind.
Weeds germinate after rainy days. Or the roots extending from the roadside trees may be intertwined.
‘Is it possible?’
My body moved first. It was an urgent situation. I immediately placed my palm on the ground. I could feel the energy of the plants under the ground.
It wasn’t a direct contact, but I felt it clearly. When I talked to the tree earlier, I tried to revive the sense that it seemed to have been connected to all plants in the vicinity in addition to the trees that I touched directly.
With the ever-present fire, my skin was already burning and hurting.
‘I can do it. I can remove it. ……!’
It was the moment I gathered my magic power while muttering desperately.
The ground shook. It was like an earthquake.
I fell backwards. Marianne, who was standing beside me, did the same.
Poof! When I raised my head, the fire was right in front of me.
We were going to be swallowed up. We will burn to death. As I froze with an instinctive fear, the ground suddenly rose up.
Literally, the ground raised up vertically. It was right in front of where I was sitting.
The stems of plants that grew rapidly from the ground stretched up toward the sky, intertwining tightly with each other.
For a moment, it looked like a huge wall of plants had appeared in front of me. The soil warped and soared like a fountain, covering the flames that were about to swallow me.
Szzz, the fire that had been shaking with the force of melting everything came to a halt without power.
The sight of the ground turning over in front of me seemed to knock me out of my mind for a while, as I couldn’t believe it. Everything was so instantaneous.
I was out of breath, and my face was hot. Wounds heated up.
Dirt and rocks scattered everywhere from the movement.
My head was spinning and I felt like I was about to collapse. I used too much power. The trunk of the plants standing stiffly in front of me was almost two stories tall.
My fingers trembled. I thought I could catch a glimpse of Roman through the wall of plants, but I didn’t have time to take a proper look.
I was at my limit. I instinctively knew that I couldn’t take it any longer.
‘Is this the end of Roman’s attack? If it’s not…. What about Kwanach? I hope he didn’t get hurt.’
All sorts of thoughts flashed through my dazed mind.
‘I have to endure. We have not yet reached the end.’ I tried to hold on, but my eyelids grew heavy.
Marianne’s voice seemed distant as she hugged me and shouted.
I could hear Kwanach’s thick voice in my vanishing mind.
If I collapsed like this, he would be worried tremendously.
I don’t want him to come to me recklessly again.
I wanted to tell him that I was fine, that I just used all my strength and collapsed. But I couldn’t overcome the sleepiness that was just about to overtake me, and I passed out.
* * * *
This was when the fire hit the ground. In the middle of the mess, Kwanach gritted his teeth and dealt with Jaxor.
He was barely holding on to Usphere’s words, “Concentrate on Jaxor.” His entire heart was already burning black from worrying about Usphere.
It would have been easier just to kill Jaxor, but Jaxor was a spy. In order to find out how he was communicating with the enemy, it was necessary to capture him alive instead of killing him.
This made the confrontation situation unnecessarily long. Even while dealing with Jaxor, Kwanach’s nerves were solely focused on Usphere, which also contributed to the dulling of his sword.
Kwanach clashed his sword and said to Jaxor through clenched teeth.
“Why on earth are you doing this? What is it that you lack so much that makes you betray me?”
All Jaxor did was laugh. But there were still signs of anguish and pain on his face.
This confused Kwanach even more. If Jaxor took off his mask and put on the face of a traitor, Kwanach could still see the best friend he knew.
It was also why the tip of his blade could not be more cruel. Kwanach had been with Jaxor since childhood in both lives. They were like brothers.
Jaxor blocked Kwanach’s sword, fell back into his stance, and thrust his sword at Kwanach.
Chen! Kwanach blocked the attack and bit his lip. Jaxor muttered in a gloomy voice.
“You don’t know, Kwanach.”
“I can’t understand. You have become so dull since you fell for that woman.”
There was a coldness in Kwanach’s eyes as Jaxor spoke of Usphere. It was true that Jaxor was a precious friend, but Kwanach’s priority was always Usphere. As Jaxor always knew.
Then he saw Usphere collapse. It was the moment when all the hesitation that lingered slightly in Kwanach’s mind disappeared.
He swung a blow with a terrifying glare.
Kwanach finally cut off his best friend’s arm. Jaxor’s severed right arm tumbled to the ground, and the sword in his right hand also fell.
Swish! Blood gushed out from the cut surface like a fountain. The blood spattered on Kwanach’s face as well.
Kwanach kicked Jaxor’s abdomen with his foot as he staggered with a groan.
“I don’t know? If you had told me any of this in the beginning, I would have understood you. I really thought you were my brother.”
All Jaxor could do was whimper.
“Now you’ll be forced to tell me.”
“Are you going to torture me?”
“I suppose it’s possible.”
With a cold face, Kwanach ordered the knights to keep Jaxor tied up. Then, rubbing his bloody face roughly, he ran towards Usphere.
The situation became clearer as the dirt and dust was gradually removed.
Usphere had collapsed and was being held in Marianne’s arms. Her hair, which was tied up in a bun, was stained with dust and blood. Her face and neck were full of cuts.
It was proof that she used her frail body to hold off Roman’s magic. Kwanach’s whole heart seemed to be crumbling.
Just then, he saw Roman running away in the distance.
He was worried about Usphere, but he couldn’t miss the chance they had taken with danger.
Kwanach ran quickly, sword clutched in one hand. It was no problem catching up with a wizard who was not that physically gifted and had exhausted his energy.
Kwanach attacked Roman from behind as he was trying to get through the alley. Kwanach grabbed him by the collar and knocked him to the floor, but he saw Roman’s lips rise and fall quickly.
“I guess you still have some power left.”
The kind of magic that Roman would cast and use would probably be curses or to manipulate minds. Even a simple spell could buy him some time to escape.
Kwanach didn’t know how to fight like Usphere did, using magic to attack and distract Roman’s concentration. Instead, he used a more radical and reliable method.
Kwanach turned Roman’s body and held onto his chin. Roman couldn’t move from the strong grip.
Kwanach quickly took out a dagger that he kept in his pocket for emergencies. He immediately put it into Roman’s mouth.
Fear flashed through Roman’s eyes for a moment. Without changing his expression, Kwanach neatly cut out Roman’s tongue. The thick flesh fell to the floor and the blood from Roman’s mouth began to pool.
With his tongue cut out, Roman couldn’t remember casting anymore, and his magic naturally stopped.
Roman couldn’t speak and continued to vomit blood. His face turned red with pain.